As early as November 1849, a number of Baptists led by Rev. John Cook organized themselves into a church or society but having no "under-shepherd to lead and instruct" them, they soon disbanded. This early organization is mentioned in the first Sacramento City directory published in 1851. After completing the organization of First Baptist Church of San Francisco and First Baptist Church of San Jose (now called Church on the Hill), the Rev. O.C. Wheeler organized The First Baptist Church of Sacramento.
On September 14, 1850, the First Baptist Church of Sacramento was organized with 16 members. The meeting took place in Sacramento Judge E. J. Willis' home on H Street between Sixth and seventh Street.
A very commendable action of our church is deserving of mention in our History. "Prejudice on account of pro-slavery and anti-slavery was running high in California; some of the more hot-headed members of the church openly declared they would not fellowship with anyone who held views antagonistic to their own on the subject." The action of the church in response was so consistently Christian and effective that it is worthy to mention to the praise of the church. On September 2, 1856, a Resolution was declared and passed:
"Resolved: That this church will fellowship any brother or sister
in Christ without regard to the place of birth,
whether they were born in the North or in the South; in the East or in the West;
in the countries of the Old World, or Isles of the Ocean, and be it further
Resolved: That in the calling, retaining or settlement of pastors for this church,
no geographical divisions whatever shall guide or influence us
In the selection of men who are called to proclaim the glorious Gospel of the Son of God."
Fast forward to September 18, 2016 (166 yrs later) when FBC Sacramento elected its 29th – and first – African American Pastor, Rev. Lamar J. Pringle. Staking claim to our continued "Sacramento Pioneer Spirit" in working with all people, we have championed the phrase "diversity is our strength" for this purpose in that we are the fulfillment of the prayers of strong men and women who took a stand for all to feel free to worship and grow here.
We pray that you will visit us during one of our worship experiences and marvel at the sight of diversity, love, friendship, humor and hope.
Rev. Lamar J. Pringle
Rev. Lamar J. Pringle was born in Massillon, Ohio and joined assumed the role of Senior Pastor in 2016. Prior to his move to First Baptist Church of Sacramento, Pastor Pringle served in ministry roles including the Metro Director for Omaha Young Life, Sacramento Young Life, and Youth and Young Adult Pastor at the Salem Baptist Church of Omaha, Nebraska.
Pastor Pringle earned a Bachelor's Degree in Education and a Master's Degree in Urban Studies (with an emphasis on Theology) from Eastern University.
As the 29th Senior Pastor of Sacramento's first Baptist church, he is also the church's first African American pastor. Pastor Pringle brings an innovative approach to ministry and teaching while focusing on diverse groups who come together to study God's Word.
With a deep passion for diversity, Pastor Pringle can read, write and recite the scriptures in Hebrew and loves to bring to life the "living Word" of God in fun, creative and original ways.